( Pamela Riemenschneider )

This season Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. will market and sell for Deming, N.M.-based Billy the Kid Produce LLC.

Partner company Young Guns Inc., Hatch, N.M., meanwhile is focusing on expanding its Hatch Valley green chile business, said Chris Franzoy, CEO/president of Young Guns.

“It’s more like a partnership, and L&M brings a powerful sales force who have a nice balance of retail and foodservice business which makes for a perfect fit” with Billy the Kid, he said.

“This combination yields great quality and service from both sides.”

Billy the Kid plans to grow about 700 acres of onions this season.

Franzoy said his brother, Justin Franzoy, general manager for Billy the Kid Produce, improved the company’s packing operation.

Chris Franzoy said it drastically reduces bruising, and it packs a higher quality onion for retail.

“(Billy the Kid) has the most technologically advanced onion packing operation in the state of New Mexico. Using six automated packing lines it can pack approximately five truck loads of onions per hour. This is important to the trucking industry because of the (electronic logging device) implementation,” he said.

Young Guns is expanding its Hatch green chile business.

“Recently we partnered with Flagship Food Group and have expanded our frozen and fresh Hatch Valley green chile operation,” Chris Franzoy said. 

“We are excited about the future and look forward to promoting New Mexico’s best crop,” he said.

The chilies will be marketed in the Young Guns and 505 brands.